The Ministry of Health reminded on Wednesday of the procedure to be followed by people who present Coronavirus symptoms and those who recently travelled to high risk countries.
- Citizens presenting symptoms of a respiratory infection (cough, fever, shortness of breath) and have travelled in the last 14 days to countries with widespread Coronavirus cases or have come into contact with a confirmed case need to call 1420 for further instructions.
It should be clarified that often people who call 1420 after travelling to high risk countries are not asked to provide a sample but are redirected to their Personal Doctor for further guidance. In case the symptoms persist, the individual needs to maintain continuous contact with their doctor in order to obtain necessary treatment. Self-isolation is imperative in all cases for the protection of patients themselves as well as their families.
2. Citizens presenting symptoms but don’t have a travel history nor have they been in contact with a confirmed case should contact their personal doctor by telephone for further guidance. These people should NOT call 1420.
3. The Ministry of Health will expand in the coming days the operation of specialist medical centres that only operate by appointment and upon referral by the Epidemiological Monitoring Unit. These centres will conduct further investigations for cases presenting symptoms whose coronavirus tests were inconclusive.
It was noted that as there is a global shortage in equipment required for Coronavirus testing, the WHO and the ECDC said there should be strict adherence to protocol that stipulates testing should only be conducted for people who meet the clinical and epidemiological criteria.
“It needs to be understood that at this difficult time, citizens need to strictly adhere to the instructions of 1420 operators and their personal doctors without panicking, and to support the competent authorities’ efforts. Our aim is to put everyone out of harm’s way, prioritising vulnerable groups of the population and taking into account the global shortage in equipment,” the announcement said.